NEWS6 March 2013

Court dismisses NDTV’s ratings tampering claims

Legal North America

US — New York State’s Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought against WPP and Nielsen over allegations of TV ratings tampering in the Indian market.

The court ruled yesterday that the case, brought by New Delhi Television (NDTV), should be heard in India rather than New York.

According to a WPP statement, the court also decided that NDTV had failed to state any valid claim against the named defendants. However NDTV, in its own statement, said the court had not gone into the merits of the case. It plans to appeal.

WPP’s Kantar Group and Nielsen are joint venture partners in TAM Media Research, India’s main TV ratings firm, and all four companies were sued by NDTV last July.

NDTV accused the firms of being “liable for indulging in corrupt practices by manipulating viewership data in favour of channels that are willing to covertly provide monetary inducements/payments/bribes to TAM officials”.

The broadcaster claimed the alleged ratings tampering had cost it $810m in ad revenue since 2004, but both Nielsen and WPP have stated that NDTV’s claims have no merit.